Friday, April 8, 2022

Montgomery County Auto Accident Case Driven Out of Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

All in all, [they'd] rather be in Philadelphia.

In the case of Hausmann v. Bernd, 2022 Pa. Super. 27 (Pa. Super. Feb. 17, 2022 Stabile, J., Dubow, J., and McCaffery, J.) (Op. by McCaffery, J.), the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed a Philadelphia County trial court decision that sustained Preliminary Objections by a Defendant based upon improper venue regarding a motor vehicle accident that occurred in Montgomery County.

The court found that venue in Philadelphia County was improper against the Defendant driver given that the Defendant driver lived in Montgomery County and given that the accident occurred in Montgomery County. 

However, the court acknowledged that, if venue was proper for the business Defendants in Philadelphia County, then the Plaintiffs could file suit against all three (3) Defendants in Philadelphia.

Yet, the court affirmed the trial court’s determination that the Defendant company did not “regularly conduct business” in Philadelphia County sufficient to support venue.

The court found that, generally speaking, the percentage of revenue derived from work in a county was not necessarily determinative of whether a business regularly conducted business operations in that county.

The court pointed to other evidence that supported the trial court’s decision that the company Defendant did not regularly conduct business in Philadelphia.

In so ruling, the Pennsylvania Superior Court also held that the Plaintiffs had an obligation to conduct discovery for any additional evidence that would have supported their claim to venue.

As noted, the decision by the trial court to sustain the Preliminary Objections to venue were affirmed on appeal.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (March 8, 2022).

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